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Davis to guest conduct Singers’ closing concert

elizabeth-davis-townThe Furman University Singers will conclude their spring tour with two concerts Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 at 8 p.m. in Daniel Memorial Chapel on campus.

As part of the presidential inauguration festivities taking place that week, Furman President Elizabeth Davis will lead the Singers in the piece, “Brown Eyes,” during the March 16 performance.

The performances by the 90-voice ensemble are part of Furman’s Sound Quality Concert Series. Tickets, available online and at the door, are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. The events are also part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program, and made possible by the Nelle and Ken Brown Music Fund.

Conducted by Hugh Ferguson Floyd, D.M.A., Music Professor and Director of the Furman Singers, the ensemble continues a tradition of performance nearly 70 years old. The Singers will present new choral music from both the sacred and secular repertoire as well as traditional favorites.

The Singers are accompanied by Furman Music Professor and University Organist Charles Tompkins, D.M.A., and Furman junior and pianist Grace Odell of Pelzer, S.C.

Davis, who will be inaugurated as Furman’s 12th president on Thursday, March 19, will lead the Singers in the piece, “Brown Eyes” in the March 16 performance. Sung at the close of every Furman Singers concert, “Brown Eyes” originated as a favorite folksong Nan Trammell Herring learned while attending Greenville Women’s College in the late 1920s. Furman’s DuPre Rhame, director of the Men’s Glee Club, arranged and copyrighted the tune in 1935.

Says Dr. Floyd, “The Furman Singers have had a wonderful time practicing under Dr. Davis’ direction. We are delighted to have her conduct this lovely and important work in the life of the Furman Singers.”

For more information about the concert, contact the Furman Music Office at (864) 294-2086.

 About Hugh Ferguson Floyd

Floyd is Professor of Music at Furman, and director of the renowned Furman Singers. He is the first recipient of the Bingham L. Vick, Jr. and Judith S. Vick Professorship of Music, established by the Furman Singers Alumni Association. Prior to his appointment at Furman, Floyd served as the director of choral studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. He also served as director of choral activities and voice instructor at the famed Interlochen Center for the Arts, and a guest lecturer at the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University. Floyd frequently serves as a guest conductor and clinician around the country. In 2010, he was named Artistic Director for the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies. Floyd frequently serves as a guest conductor and clinician and has conducted All-State choirs in Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, and both North and South Carolina as well as regional honors choirs around the country. He has been a choral clinician for Festival Disney at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. since its inception in 2005. At home with orchestral conducting, he was chorus master for the Akron Symphony, conducting Messiah, Christmas Pops, and Carmina Burana. Floyd is a graduate of Furman University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Michigan.

About Charles Tompkins

Tompkins, Professor of Music and University Organist, has been a member of the Music Department faculty since 1986. He also serves as organist of First Baptist Church in Greenville. Tompkins received his doctorate in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music and was awarded Eastman’s Performer’s Certificate in recognition of outstanding performing accomplishment. He holds the bachelor of music in organ performance from Eastman and the master of music from the University of Michigan. Tompkins is an active recitalist and clinician, performing each year at major universities and churches throughout the United States. He has presented recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, S.C., and at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Music Teachers National Association, and the College Music Society. He was a featured artist at AGO regional conventions in Nashville (1995), Fort Wayne (2001), and Charleston, S.C. (2003). Tompkins’ performances have been broadcast nationally on American Public Media’s “Pipedreams,” and his debut CD, Solemnity and Joy, was released in 2001 on the Pro Organo label.

Last updated March 5, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director